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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, October 6, 2019

 
Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka topped top-ranked Ash Barty 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the Beijing final scoring her 10th straight win to collect her fifth career championship.

Photo credit: AP Photo

Naomi Osaka reflected on a disappointing summer season vowing to answer with a successful Asian swing.

The Australian Open champion fulfilled her promise transforming Beijing into a proving ground.

More: Nadal Out of Shanghai

In a clash of Grand Slam champions, Osaka out-dueled world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 capturing her fifth career title at the China Open.




A streaking Osaka scored her 10th straight victory with her second consecutive championship following her title run in her hometown of Osaka. 

It was a sneak peek at future riveting rivalries as Osaka snapped US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's 17-match winning streak in a fierce quarterfinal, swept defending-champion Caroline Wozniacki to shatter the Dane's 10-match China Open winning streak before overpowering Barty in the final set today.

The fourth-seeded Osaka, who raised her finals record to 5-2, is the eighth woman in the last eight years to raise the Beijing title trophy.

Osaka showed her staying power raising her three-set record to 16-3 in 2019.  The top-seeded Barty fell to 6-5 in WTA finals.

After showing signs of frustration dropping the first set, Osaka began swinging more freely tormenting the Barty backhand. Osaka hammered a couple of 110 mph serves to save a pair of break points in the fifth game. Twenty-three minutes into the match, Osaka was stretching out her serving shoulder as if trying to loosen up her right arm.

The top seed slid low slices into the mid-court coaxing a pair of netted replies from the flat-hitting Osaka as Barty broke first for 4-2.

Missing a return in the next game, Osaka bounced her gold Yonex racquet off the blue court in frustration. For the second game in a row, Barty denied a break point stretching her lead to 5-2.




Roland Garros champion Barty banged consecutive aces freezing Osaka and ending a strong 34-minute opening set she bracketed with love holds.

Osaka's father and coach, Leonard Francois, came out after the opening set urging her to calm down, swing aggressively and let her shots fly.

Barty dipped a drop shot over the net saving a break point to hold for 2-all.

As the match progressed, Osaka did a better job moving her feet and getting her racquet head below the ball to combat Barty's slice.

On her second break point of the set, Osaka hit a deep return and Barty shoveled her reply long as the Japanese earned her first break for 4-2.


When a Barty forehand return strayed wide, Osaka snatched the second set and walked to her court-side seat with her towel draped over her head. Seizing the offense, Osaka doubled Barty's winner output—10 to 5— in the 37-minute second set.

For the sixth time in tournament history, a third set would decide the champion.

An athletic corner-to-corner exchange ended with Osaka driving the ball down the line drawing a sliding error as she broke to open the decider.





Stepping closer to the line, Osaka rolled through eight straight points cracking out a love break for 5-2.




On her second championship point, Osaka closed her 10th consecutive victory 10 days shy of celebrating her 22nd birthday.


 

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